UK travel agents back domestic holidays campaign

Several major UK travel agents are backing a government-sponsored campaign to promote domestic holidays.

The ‘Great Adventure’ campaign gets underway today, launched by VisitEngland, the body responsible for promoting English tourism, and Maria Miller, the UK government’s culture secretary. It has received the backing of travel agents operating within the UK, including Thomas Cook, Premier Travel, Coop Travel, The Travel Network Group, Tui, Advantage, Shearings Holidays, Superbreak, Hoseasons, Bourne Leisure and Attraction World.

The main thrust of the promotion, which has a budget of £4 million, will be TV adverts featuring animated screen stars Wallace and Gromit setting off on their own holiday adventures around the UK. The first advert will be aired on the nation’s commercial channels this Sunday, May 12, with the emphasis on encouraging viewers to book their travel breaks with local travel agents. In addition, the website, yourgreatadventur.co.uk, will be promoted to provide viewers with ideas for UK-based excursions and holidays.

A feature of the website will be a facility whereby those intending to book a holiday can input their postcode and find the nearest agent to them that is signed up to the promotion.

For the financial investment involved, the organisers expect to generate £80 million in revenue from additional tourism, and in excess of one million extra overnight stays.

James Berresford, VisitEngland’s chief executive, said, ‘We have had a fantastic response from the domestic travel trade, and I’m looking forward to working with our tour operator and retail partners to inspire Britons to visit their local travel agent and book a break at home this year. Wallace & Gromit are wonderful ambassadors for holidays at home. They are a quintessentially English double-act with universal appeal at home and abroad, and I’m sure they will capture the public’s imagination.

‘Following on from the success of the first Holidays at Home are GREAT campaign last year, which generated over £300 million in additional tourism spend, this new campaign forms a key part of VisitEngland’s strategy to grow tourism in this country, supporting the government’s agenda for growth.’